King opens Jordan’s parliament

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Jordan’s king inaugurated the country’s newly elected parliament yesterday with a pledge to press ahead with democratisation, but said he will help pick the next prime minister even though that job is now officially in the hands of the lawmakers.

Abdullah II hailed the January 23 election as a “milestone” in reforms he initiated two years ago to forestall large-scale Arab Spring unrest that toppled four of his peers since 2010.

In his speech to MPs, Abdullah said Jordan was going through a “decisive transitional period,” which will start with MPs electing a prime minister under palace supervision.